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Queensrÿche & Armored Saint Bring Four Decades of Metal Legacy to Kitchener’s Elements Night Club [Photos]

Queensrÿche and Armored Saint descended upon Kitchener’s Elements Night Club for a night of lively and intense heavy metal.



Queensrÿche on April 21, 2024, photo by Mike Bax
Queensrÿche on April 21, 2024, photo by Mike Bax

The metal enthusiasts of Kitchener and Waterloo were in for a treat last weekend as heavy metal legends, Queensrÿche and Armored Saint, graced the town with their presence. This was not just any tour, but a special one named “The Origins Tour.” Queensrÿche performed their debut EP and their 1984 debut album, The Warning, in their entirety. Adding to the excitement, Armored Saint was celebrating the 40th anniversary of their 1984 debut album, March Of the Saint.

Elements in Kitchener is said to have a capacity of just over 1,000 people. Around 600 to 700 people were in attendance this evening, which made for a full venue where you could still move around without feeling like you were stepping on everyone’s toes. The crowd wasn’t particularly lively, but it wasn’t surprising given that most of the audience was male and aged between 50 and 60 years old. There was no mosh pit, but instead, many patrons sang along to almost every song performed that evening. These songs were so familiar from these classic albums that most people knew them by heart.

The (mostly) original Armored Saint lineup features John Bush on vocals, Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan playing guitars, Joey Vera on bass and Gonzo Sandoval on drums. They performed a total of ten songs, covering their diverse musical catalogue. During the set, Bush left the stage for a while and performed a song from a raised area. Both Bush and Vera interacted with fans on the side of the stage during their performance. There were short technical issues during some songs but they were quickly resolved by their road crew. Overall, Armored Saint sounded polished and impressive. John Bush’s ability to still hit the high notes was particularly noteworthy.

Queensrÿche currently features founding members Eddie Jackson on bass guitar and backing vocals and Michael Wilton on lead guitar and backing vocals. The band also includes sonic vocalist Todd La Torre, Casey Grillo (ex-Kamelot drummer), and Mike Stone on rhythm guitar and backing vocals. During their performance, Grillo was up on a riser behind the other four members, with lovely pink and purple lighting and some laser lighting used to great effect in the last half of their set.

Despite playing a very loud set, Queensrÿche still sounded phenomenal. Todd’s vocals were clean and tight to the source material throughout their set. Michael Wilton’s lightning-fast guitarman-ship still justifies his nickname: The Whip. As the band worked through songs from The Warning, it struck me that I hadn’t played the album in ages, and hearing it live like this had me questioning why; the album has some great songs.

Watching a show of this calibre in a local club, with free parking and just a short ten-minute drive home, was the cherry on top of a great evening of live metal. The Queensrÿche and Armored Saint tour continues until May 12th in Ft. Meyers, Florida. If you are a metalhead and this tour comes to your area, don’t miss it.

Queensrÿche Setlist:

Queen of the Reich
The Lady Wore Black
En Force
No Sanctuary
NM 156
Take Hold of the Flame
Before the Storm
Child of Fire
Roads to Madness

Armored Saint Setlist:

End of the Attention Span
Raising Fear
Tribal Dance
The Pillar
March of the Saint
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
Win Hands Down
Can U Deliver
Reign of Fire